6 important takeaways from Lovie Smith's Week 4 Houston Texans presser

6 important takeaways from Lovie Smith's Week 4 Houston Texans presser
Lovie Smith recaps Week 4 | Houston Texans Press Conference

Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith met with the media on Monday and answered their questions about the Texans' 34-24 loss to the Chargers on Sunday. Here are some takeaways from the presser.

The Texans have been in every game. I guess that's something positive this season. Although the 10 point loss was not as close as it seemed, Lovie saw it differently. He saw it as a great sign that the Texans had the ball in the fourth quarter with chance to take the lead. Let's not forget, they went down 21-0 before Dameon Pierce's long TD run in the second quarter. And they only had seven points on the board until about 1:15 left in the 3rd quarter.

Lovie had to defend Rex Burkhead's usage, again. When Lovie was asked why Burkhead was in the game on an important 4th and 1 play, Lovie pointed to the TD Burkhead scored and asked why nobody had an issue with him being in the game on that play. Lovie also pointed out that the play failed because nobody blocked Khalil Mack, and Burkhead was not at fault.

Dameon Pierce had a breakout game, but he still wasn't on the field for the biggest play of the game on 4th down. Lovie repeatedly told the media that Pierce can't be on the field for every play, but he's clearly missing the point. People are concerned about Pierce not playing in high leverage situations. No one expects Pierce to play every snap of the game. Pierce finished with 131 rush yards on 14 carries. He also caught 6 passes for 8 yards receiving.

Lovie said this was the team's worst performance on defense. The defense was unable to turn the ball over and Justin Herbert was only sacked once while throwing for 340 yards and 2 TDs. The Texans rush defense gave up some big scores to Chargers RB Austin Eckler, but they kept the rushing yards in check. The Chargers only rushed for 81 yards on Sunday.

The Texans aren't making a QB change, according to Lovie Smith. Before Dameon Pierce ripped off his long TD run, making the score 21-7, backup QB Kyle Allen was seen with his helmet on getting loose. Many believed he might soon be entering the game, but Pierce's impressive run may have gotten Mills off the hook. The team has no plans to replace Mills at this time.

Special teams did a nice job causing a turnover in the fourth quarter, but Davis Mills and the Texans offense were unable to capitalize and settled for a field goal. Lovie mentioned that he was happy the team had a chance to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but after the Texans field goal, the Chargers went right down the field and scored a TD to ice the game. Hardly something to be excited about.

Be sure to check out the video above to hear Lovie's full commentary on the game.

Up next: The Texans head to Jacksonville to play the Jaguars on Sunday.

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Yordan Alvarez is hitting fifth for the American League. Composite Getty Image.

Baltimore's Corbin Burnes will start for the American League in Tuesday night's All-Star Game against Pittsburgh rookie Paul Skenes.

A 29-year-old right-hander, Burnes is 9-4 with a 2.93 ERA in his first season with the Orioles, who acquired him from Milwaukee just before spring training. The 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, Burnes is an All-Star for the fourth straight season. He will become the fifth Orioles pitcher to start an All-Star Game, the first since Steve Stone in 1980.

Skenes, who made his major league debut on May 11, is 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA in 11 starts, striking out 89 and walking 13 in 66 1/3 innings. The 11 starts for the 21-year-old right-hander will be the fewest for an All-Star and he will become the fifth rookie starter after Dave Stenhouse (1962), Mark Fidrych (1976), Fernando Valenzuela (1981) and Hideo Nomo (1995).

NL manager Torey Lovullo announced last week he was starting Skenes.

AL manager Bruce Bochy of World Series champion Texas said Monday he has Steven Kwan of Cleveland hitting leadoff and playing left field, followed by Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson, New York Yankees right fielder Juan Soto and center fielder Aaron Judge, Houston designed hitter Yordan Alvarez, Guardians shortstop José Ramírez, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien.

Ketel Marte bats first and plays second base for the NL, followed by Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, Philadelphia shortstop Trea Turner, Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper, Milwaukee catcher William Contreras, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich, Phillies third baseman Alex Bohm, Dodgers center fielder Teoscar Hernández and San Diego left fielder Jurickson Profar.

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